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Membership has its Co-Benefits

Last week marked the first “informal ministerial consultations” in the run up to the UN climate talks in December. The objective of these informal meetings before The Meeting is to provide the opportunity to find common ground and an organizing...

Posted July 28, 2015    

Do Residential Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver?

Today’s post is co-authored by Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago) and Catherine WolframWe recently released a paper presenting the findings of a first-of-its kind, randomized controlled evaluation of the returns to some common residential...

Posted July 8, 2015    

How Should Distributed Generation be Distributed?

Growth in the residential solar market continues apace. In the United States, residential solar PV installations last quarter were up 11 percent over the previous quarter:Source: http://www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmiThe figure...

Posted June 23, 2015    

Subsidizing Renewables for the Damage Not Done

In this divided age, few topics beyond motherhood, apple pie, and the iPhone 6 enjoy widespread public approval. So it is notable that, in a recent Gallup Poll, two out of three Americans support an increased reliance on solar and wind energy...

Posted May 13, 2015    

For Energy (and Water) Conservation, Moral Suasion is No Substitute for Getting the Prices Right

My office light switch recently acquired a little sticker that politely reminds me to turn it off when I leave:Over the past year, an edgy Lawn dude and an amicable Bear have been urging Californians to cut back on water use in order to meet our...

Posted April 8, 2015    

One University's Attempt to Reduce Energy Waste at Work

If you work outside your home, chances are you don’t pay (directly) for the energy you use at work. At my place of work, the UC Berkeley campus, most employees never see – let alone pay – their energy bills.Of course, there are plenty of pro-social...

Posted February 25, 2015    

Energy Efficiency is a Tough Sell, Even When it is 'Free'!

Almost two weeks into the New Year, how are those resolutions going? Every year, my long list of resolutions includes several tasks I should be doing but have trouble finding time for, like going to the dentist and installing roof insulation (we...

Posted January 14, 2015    

On the Meaning of Existence (and Power Plant Emissions)

Here at the EI blog, we don’t shy away from addressing the deep questions in energy and environmental economics. With this week’s blog, we tackle the very meaning of existence (with respect to power plants regulated under proposed greenhouse gas...

Posted December 17, 2014    

Cross-State Power Flows Complicate the Clean Power Plan

The release of the IPCC Synthesis Report earlier this month underscores the need for swift and aggressive action to combat climate change.  With the shifting control of Congress, answering that call becomes more of an uphill battle.Image...

Posted November 12, 2014    

The Multibillion Dollar Question: How to Spend Carbon Revenues?

Debates over carbon pricing policies tend to focus on the costs imposed on firms and households. When a carbon tax or cap and trade program is introduced, firms see energy-related operating costs rise, drivers pay (cents) more at the pump,...

Posted October 14, 2014    

Renewable Integration Challenges Create Demand Response Opportunities

The power grid is getting greener. The graph below summarizes EIA projections of U.S. non-hydro electricity generation under different assumptions about greenhouse gas regulations, fuel prices, and technology costs:  Source: http://www.eia...

Posted September 4, 2014    

Will Coal Exports Abroad Offset Hard-Won Carbon Reductions at Home?

When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, he set a goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent of 2005 levels by 2020.  The graph below shows that we appear to be making progress towards meeting this target.  The...

Posted July 29, 2014